European Street Gangs and Troublesome Youth Groups

Overview

Although a well-known phenomenon in the U.S., street gangs and other violent and criminal groups_including racist groups_exist also in European cities and countries, and are of increasing concern in global law enforcement. The eminent contributors to this volume present valuable new data on European youth gangs, describing important characteristics of these groups, and their similarities and differences to American gangs. Their findings from the Eurogang Research Program compare European and American gang ...
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Overview

Although a well-known phenomenon in the U.S., street gangs and other violent and criminal groups_including racist groups_exist also in European cities and countries, and are of increasing concern in global law enforcement. The eminent contributors to this volume present valuable new data on European youth gangs, describing important characteristics of these groups, and their similarities and differences to American gangs. Their findings from the Eurogang Research Program compare European and American gang interventions, and highlight the impact of immigration and ethnicity, urbanization, national influences, and local neighborhood circumstances on gang development in several European countries. It is an important resource on crime, delinquency and youth development for criminologists, sociologists, youth workers, policy makers, local governments, and law enforcement professionals.
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Editorial Reviews

Choice
Until recently, the transnational study of juvenile gangs or, as they are termed in Europe, "troublesome youth groups" was a rather hit-or-miss affair. Now, editors Decker and Weerman have put together a unique book of collected essays that addresses a particular segment of the delinquency problem. This is a much-needed exposition in the somewhat esoteric and convoluted field of theoretical criminology. Highly recommended.
International Criminal Justice Review
This book is recommended reading for those interested in expanding their understanding of street gangs, but it is more than that. It is also valuable reading for those engaged, or contemplating engaging, in cross-national, comparative research. Although this volume focuses on gangs, many of the same definitional, methodological, and analytical issues arise in other cross-national research and this book can be a useful roadmap for such efforts. Finally, the book can serve as a valuable supplement to classroom books providing general treatment of gangs.
— C. Ronald Huff, University of California, Irvine
James Short
The progress reported in this book is an important next necessary step for the Eurogang research program. Scott Decker and Frank Weerman and their colleagues are to be congratulated for bringing coherence of definitions, research procedures, and substantive findings about street gangs and other troublesome youth groups.
Terence P. Thornberry
For far too long research on street gangs has primarily meant research on American street gangs. Such a narrow, provincial focus hampers both our understanding of gang behavior and our efforts to eradicate it. Fortunately, the Decker and Weerman volume goes a long way to providing a more balanced picture. These contributions present state-of-the-art findings, based on multiple methods but using a common conceptual definition of the gang, about gang behavior in European society. Challenging some of our conceptions about gangs, while reinforcing others, this offers a much needed comparative perspective.
CHOICE
Until recently, the transnational study of juvenile gangs or, as they are termed in Europe, "troublesome youth groups" was a rather hit-or-miss affair. Now, editors Decker and Weerman have put together a unique book of collected essays that addresses a particular segment of the delinquency problem. This is a much-needed exposition in the somewhat esoteric and convoluted field of theoretical criminology. Highly recommended.
International Criminal Justice Review - C. Ronald Huff
This book is recommended reading for those interested in expanding their understanding of street gangs, but it is more than that. It is also valuable reading for those engaged, or contemplating engaging, in cross-national, comparative research. Although this volume focuses on gangs, many of the same definitional, methodological, and analytical issues arise in other cross-national research and this book can be a useful roadmap for such efforts. Finally, the book can serve as a valuable supplement to classroom books providing general treatment of gangs.
Ineke Haen Marshall
"European Street Gangs and Troublesome Youth Groups" represents an excellent example of the cutting edge comparative research conducted by the Eurogang Research Program. Decker and Weerman have done a most commendable job of combining sophisticated quantitative and in-depth qualitative accounts of gangs in multiple European contexts, illustrating both the differences as well as the similarities with the American situation. This very readable and accessable volume is highly recommended for anybody - student, researcher or scholar - interested in the challenges and promises of comparative research in the area of criminology.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Scott H. Decker is Curator's Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He has been involved in research about gangs and gang intervention programs since 1988. He is the author of Policing Gangs and Youth Violence (2002), co-author with G. David Curry of Confronting Gangs: Crime and Community (2002) and co-author with Richard T. Wright of Armed Robbers in Action: Stickups and Street Culture, and Burglars on the Job: Streetlife and Residential Break-ins. Frank M. Weerman is researcher at the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement in Leiden. He has been involved in several research projects in youth crime, and has written extensively about explanations for delinquent behavior and co-offending. He is currently conducting a large longitudinal research project on the role of delinquent peers and peer networks.
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Table of Contents

Part 1 Preface Chapter 2 Introduction Part 3 PART I: Qualitative Approaches Chapter 3 Chapter 1: In the Grip of the Group Chapter 4 Chapter 2: Criminal Gangs and their Connections: Metaphors, Definitions, and Structures Chapter 6 Chapter 3: An Old-Fashioned Youth Gang in Genoa Chapter 6 Chapter 4: Why do Young Male Russians of German Descent Tend to Join or Form Violent Gangs? Chapter 8 Chapter 5: The Role of Crime Acts in Constituting the Gang's Mentality Chapter 9 Chapter 6: Identification and Self-Identification: Using a Survey to Study Gangs in the Netherlands Part 9 PART II: Quantitative Approaches Chapter 10 Chapter 7: Youth Groups and Gangs in Amsterdam: A Pretest of the Eurogang Expert Survey Chapter 12 Chapter 8: Contemporary Russian Gangs: History, Membership, and Crime Involvement Chapter 13 Chapter 9: Terrors and Young Teams: Youth Gangs and Delinquency in Edinburgh Chapter 13 Chapter 10: A Cross-National Comparison of Youth Gangs: The United States and the Netherlands Part 15 PART III: Integrative Approaches Chapter 15 Chapter 11: Gang and Youth Violence Prevention and Intervention: Contrasting the Experience of the Scandinavian Welfare State with the United States Chapter 16 Chapter 13: European Street Gangs and Troublesome Youth Groups: Findings from the Eurogang Research Program
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